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Year : 2016  |  Volume : 26  |  Issue : 4  |  Page : 244-251

Pegylated interferon monotherapy for hepatitis C virus infection in patients on hemodialysis: A single center study

Department of Nephrology, All India Institute of Medical Sciences, New Delhi, India

Correspondence Address:
S K Agarwal
Department of Nephrology, All India Institute of Medical Sciences, New Delhi - 110 029
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/0971-4065.172228

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There is no published study from India on hepatitis C virus (HCV) treatment in dialysis patients. Patients on dialysis with HCV infection treated with pegylated interferon (Peg-INF) monotherapy were studied. All patients were subjected to HCV-polymerase chain reaction, viral load, genotype, and liver biopsy. Quantitative HCV-RNA was performed monthly. Patients with genotype 1 and 4 were given 12 month therapy while those with genotypes 2 and 3 were given 6 months therapy. Response was classified as per standard criteria of rapid virological response (RVR), early virological response (EVR), end of treatment response (ETR), and sustained virological response (SVR). A total of 85 patients were treated. Mean age was 35.2 ± 10.5 (range 15–67) years, and 77.6% were males. HCV genotypes were 1 in 40.9%, 2 in 12%, 3 in 36.1%, 4 in 3.6%, and others in 7.2%. Mean viral load was 106 copies/mL. Mean liver biopsy grade was 4 ± 1.7 and stage 0.8 ± 0.8. Mean time from diagnosis of HCV infection and the treatment start was 10.7 ± 14.3 months. One patient died of unrelated illness, one was lost to follow-up, and three could not sustain treatment due to cost. Forty-three of the 80 (54%) patients had RVR while 49 (61%) patients had EVR and ETR. There was no difference in term of RVR related to genotype. Fifty -four percentage had SVR. Mild flu-like symptoms were seen in all patients. Sixty-four (80%) patients required increase in erythropoietin doses. Twenty-eight (35%) patients developed leukopenia (three treatment-limiting) and 16 (20%) developed thrombocytopenia (one treatment-limiting). Five patients developed tuberculosis, five bacterial pneumonia, and one bacterial knee monoarthritis. None of the patients developed depression. Our study concludes that Peg-INF monotherapy resulted in 54% RVR and SVR in dialysis patients with HCV infection. Therapy was well-tolerated with minimal side effects. There was no effect of viral genotype on response to therapy.


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Indian Journal of Nephrology
Published by Wolters Kluwer - Medknow
Online since 20th Sept '07